'Hearts of Love' project helps children grieve

By Ashlyn Hill

Midland, MI (WNEM) -- For some families, the holiday season can be tough because it serves as a reminder of a loved one gone too soon.

"Like it was...I lost my best friend, the person I could talk to,” said Brenden Bass, a 15-year-old from Midland.

Brenden's brother passed away in 2014 and he said it can be hard. Thankfully, there's an organization trying to help with the grief.

"It's not who they are, it's something that happened to them and they're able to talk about it in group so they're more comfortable with it and if they're comfortable with it, then we get comfortable with it as a society,” said Camille Nietschky, executive director of Children’s Grief Center.

Nietschky said partnerships with the community is what keeps the center going strong, especially through those group sessions, so they partnered with the Midland Noon Rotary Club for a donation drive.

It's called the Hearts of Love community drive where folks are encouraged to donate any type of arts and craft supplies. It may sound simple, but a creative outlet is exactly what people need during times of grief.

Once the Midland County Youth Action Council heard about the campaign, they jumped right in.

"We think that this a program that's particularly meaningful in the sense that it's unique and in the sense that it's something that midland definitely needs and midland youth definitely need,” said Will Adams, president of the Midland County Youth Action Council.

Adams said investing in the Greif Center is an investment in Midland's future.

Art supply donations for the Hearts of Love community drive can be dropped off at three midland locations through the end of November:

The Greater Midland Community Center Dow Diamond Midland Law Enforcement Center

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